Thursday, 26 March 2009

A meal and then clubbing with My Girls, a few inspirational quotes, and some Rube Goldberg gadgets. :o)

Went out for a meal last night with a load of staff ('My Girls') I used to work with last year, and then to a big pub, which is pretty much a night club in all but name……. the same one I went to a couple of weeks ago or so, with the bunch of staff I work with now.

It was a great night out, and we had a great laugh. They are a good bunch, and the humour is terrific when we are all together. I was in ‘Entertain’ mode, and the restaurant owner said they were all welcome back, excepting myself. He was smiling though.

(Thankyou God for a great night out.)

I got back home, and it’s silence had the usual ‘flattening’ effect. Another rare night out in the company of people with full lives, and another return alone to a quiet house. Jeees, how many times have I come back to a quiet house? Still, at least I don’t have to put up with someone else’s shit I guess. Some would gladly swap places with me in a heartbeat, eh? :o)

(Thankyou God I don’t have to put up with someone else’s shit!) :o)

Had a bad night………. bad dreams which kept me wakening up through the night. Stood outside for a while pondering on it all, and calling for Lomax, as I do every time I happen to get up at night. Made a cuppa, had a read, and back to sleep at four-ish. Slept on and off then until nine.

Exciting life, innit? :oI

(Thankyou God for waking to another day)

This blog isn’t kicking off today……… no inspiration.

Give up for today, eh? Sometimes you’ve just got to let it go.

Instead,……….. here’s some quotes I found whilst browsing around the ‘net this morning. I just might inspire someone else today. :o)

"I never knew I was going to get to the result until I got there." -- Pablo Pardo

"The perfect state of creative bliss is having power (you are 50) and knowing nothing (you are 9). This assures an interesting and successful outcome."
-- Tibor Kalman

The good news is that you can become more innovative just by taking some action, however small, today. My favorite book on this subject is The Knowing-Doing Gap. In one section of the book, 49ers coach Steve Mariucci explains how he stamps out inaction by not sporting a watch:
"Always know what time it is. It is always NOW. And NOW is when you should do it."

"The best measure of a blog is not how many people it reaches, it’s how much it changes what you do. Changes your posture, your writing, your transparency, your humility. What blogging has done for me is made me think. I get to think about how the outside world will understand something I’m trying to do, for example."- Seth Godin

Exhilaration is the Breeze
That lifts us from the Ground
And leaves us in another place
Whose statement is not found
-Emily Dickinson

................ And here's some U-Tube links:-

This wooden marble 'adding machine' would be fun to make........... maybe a lot bigger with more adding slots to calculate a far bigger number.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcDshWmhF4A&feature=channel

Here's a link to a music machine........... whether you think it sounds good or not is immaterial really.............. just think of the work to put it together, eh????
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_Ajg1G3vik

That got me looking at Automata........... something that's always fascinated me, and which I'd love to get around to making someday. I'd love to make something that is complicated, and goes all around the woods to do bugger-all in the end.

I love the setups where, like a row of falling dominoes, a whole series of events results in something trivial happening at the end. There's a name for these chain- reaction mechanisms but it escapes me right now.............

Ah, yes............ Rube Goldberg Mechanisms.

There's several on U-Tube........... Honda did one, which was an advert called "Cog", and was quite brilliant in itself, using nothing but Honda car parts!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYabfifhEPE

The best one though is absolutely fantastic, called 'The way Things Go'. It used many more spectacular chain reactions, fire and fireworks being amongst them, and although it's a little more amateurish and less 'slick' than the Honda one, it's actually far better, at over a hundred feet long, and lasting for 30 minutes in the full version

Here's a U-Tube link to a shorter version...........
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U82eWptFxSs

There's bloke called Theo Jansen who designs and builds the fantastic Strandbeests:-






"Since 1990 I have been occupied creating new forms of life.
Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes are used as the basic material of this new nature. I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind, so they don’t have to eat.
Over time, these skeletons have become increasingly better at surviving the elements such as storms and water and eventually I want to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives."




have a look at his website........... fascinating, it really is. No electronics whatsoever, which means absolutely no computers of any size at all.


here's a link to them working.........
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_eY22R0TWE&NR=1

........... and here's a U-Tube link to a lecture of his..........

http://www.strandbeest.com/

There's a BMW advert on the end, and a bit at the beginning, but ignore that. I guess he needs sponsorship, and I won't knock this absolutely genius guy for that! :o)

Ok, y’all have a good day out there,…. well, what’s left of it anyway .............. it's pretty much over here, as it's just gone 5.30pm.

Another day without Lomax bites the dust. I sure hope he's ok, wherever he is. :o(

K.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Back-Patch Biker Club party, and Other Thoughts that get sparked off............. as they do. :o)

Not a lot been happening. Had a couple of good days at work, despite them being very busy. Good-humoured, and hard working staff makes all the difference in this job, same as in most I would think, and I feel very sorry for those who have to do without it around them as they work. Most times it’s the only thing that makes it bearable.

No-Problem-Pete dragged me off on our bikes to a Back-Patch Club party at their clubhouse a few miles away on Saturday night. It was real good, largely because, as I was talking about the other day here, these are the Real Thing, and it showed in the genuinely friendly, and unpretentious atmosphere. Many who are outside of the biking world would be amazed at how unintimidating it was too.

Motorcycling in this country is traditionally a dirty word, for many reasons, not the least of which it being the traditional interest (at one time!) of the young, and the lower classes, and traditionally perceived as being so 'dangerous' as well. I'ts more acceptable now our wealthier middle class forty-something’s are embracing it as a lifestyle accessory, although it certainly still retains that second-class citizen feel . If you ever want to feel your life is worth nothing more than dried spit on the pavement, look into the eyes of a motorist as they access your worth, and risk to themselves, just before they look away and pull right out in front of you. It happens often; pretty much daily, if you ride a lot.

It’s more often not a case of “I didn’t see you mate” than a case, of “I did, but I couldn’t care less if you live or die” You don’t believe me? Let me take you for a spin and open your eyes a bit.

In fact we as a group cause very little of the perceived trouble to any community. There were some troubles back in the sixties and early seventies, but that was a result of having those upstart weirdo mods, and skinheads about the place, who insisted on using poxy little scooters to display their ‘masculinity’. I mean, who, if they were of any genetically sound ancestry worthy of preservation, would ever use a scooter, an excellent vehicle to shop and commute locally on, as something with which to attract the Chicks? I ask you, I mean, c’mon?

Anyway, I digress……… we’re all friends now, so they tell me. :o)

No, get any amount of us together and you won’t find any trouble……… unlike some other more socially acceptable pastimes, like football f’rinstance. Ask yourself………. If biking events cost a fraction of what football costs to police, and has such a history of violence at their venues, would it not be banned pretty quickly? I rather think so!

Y’all may not be aware of this, but in 2008 there were several traditional biking rallies and activities effectively banned by some pretty sly police and ‘establishment’ goings-on. This was despite there having never been any trouble in years gone by.

It's evidence of the creeping cancer in our society of the weenies (small ‘w’) at work. They are, cold wet slimy drip, by cold wet slimy drip, destroying out country, and they are sneakily doing it by effectvely trying to outlaw the minority interests first. By the time the majority take notice it will be too late. It actually already is

If you want evidence that we bikers, as a group, cause little trouble to the society we live in, just go to the Isle of Man during TT race week (Fortnight if you include Practice Week, and you should really). There, something like 35,000 bikers land on this tiny little island for a week of pure speed, and love of two wheeled (And a few three wheeled) machinery. Ask any of the police over there just how much trouble they have to deal with, and you’ll find they will say none at all. Any night that week there are just a relatively few coppers patrolling Douglas (The capital of the I.O.M.), despite the streets and pubs absolutely CRAMMED with thousands of bikers, and the main drag three-deep with thousands of bikes parked up in rows as far as you can see. I really is quite a sight.

I was talking to a copper over there one year, and he said that the reason bikers were no trouble is because we are what we are from our love of the bikes. We don’t need to kick somebody’s head in to get our kicks (Did you see what I did there?), because we get those kicks from the bikes. That’s right on the button.

Yup, and so take it from me, the I.O.M., during TT week anyway, would be the safest place you could wander alone at night. Ask any I.O.M resident too……….. they absolutely love us. The ones who don’t are the few super-rich who don’t like their little tax-haven boat rocked, but they aren’t the indigenous people, not by a long chalk. However, their influence is slowly (cold wet slimy drip, by cold wet slimy drip) diluting the event, and I fear for it’s future once my generation has slipped it’s mooring from this mortal coil.

Anyway……. yup, it was a great party, and the bikes outside were a good mix of styles and modifications. It was good to be amongst a group where not one was a bullshitter. These boys were all time served troops. :o)

As an aside……….. someone told me that the locality used to get swamped every year with a certain travelling fraternity, but after this back-patch club moved in and sorted out their clubhouse, they strangely visited just the once. There was no intimidation, it was only the knowledge that there were a group of hard-core bikers established there, and so this particular group of ‘travelling people’ suddenly chose to make a mess, and plant themselves for free, somewhere else.

Funny that, don’t you think?

Makes me wonder what would happen if other people got together and refused to stand for any shit from those who think they can do as they please. Maybe one day we will all get so pissed-off with being the victims being trampled on, and the scum openly laughing at the majority, that we will get our shit together, but I fear the opportunity is fast diminishing.

We pay the police to do it for us, but they are so roped in by political correctness, bullshit, and self-serving politicians, that they can’t be effective any more. I fear their numbers are also weakened by an infiltration of weenies in their ranks. They’d be the ones fast-tracked for promotion then.

If we don’t watch it, fascism will take a hold……… history should warn us of that. I for one get tempted to vote for the BNP quite often……… not because I’m racist, nor because I want them in power for one second, but because our thieving, skiving, dishonest two-faced weenie politicians need a big wake-up call!

Sooner the better!

Sorry……….. ranting again. :oI

How’d I get to that point?

It’s The Rambling that does it y’know. :o)

Y’all have a good day out there, wherever you are……… and thank God for at least one thing today, and every day. I’m into my sixth (I think?) “Thankyou God” day, and am still hanging in there.

Mind you, I started to ship some water yesterday morning, but managed to bale it dry by the afternoon :o)

Remember what Churchill said………. “Never, EVER, give up!” :o)


Thankyou God, that I haven’t.

K. x :o)

Friday, 20 March 2009

Happier than God................. one day, hopefully :o)

I've been reading “Happier Than God” by Neale Donald Walsh………… it’s kinda a cross between another of his books “Conversations With God”, and “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne.


It makes a lot of sense, despite being quite fantastic (As in ‘unbelievable’), but no more fantastic than any of the conventional religions. It sure supports what I know is happening to me right now…………. I’m in a deep web of negativity right now, and have been for a while to a greater of lesser degree, and I know it’s self-perpetuating, in that it is drawing in more negativity to feed on. ‘Things’ aren’t working out with pretty much anything at all, and I’m bringing it in on myself, but even knowing that, I seem (Please note……..mustn’t say ‘can’t’) to be unable to break out of it………. at the moment. When my father died back in ’91, I went through a extremely positive phase for something like six months or so, and was absolutely invincible, and I knew, and expected everything to go right, and you know what?

IT DID!!!! It was brilliant!

My Dad had just died, all hell broke loose in as much as my world was turned over…….. my five year relationship with my girlfriend fell apart from the strain of it all, my sister decided I was her enemy, because I then fell in love with her best friend along the way, I’d been busted for speeding by the police on the way down to comfort my Sister in Cornwall the evening I’d heard he had died, and was going to get a definite driving ban when it came to court.

Ok, you’re wondering………Two busts by two separate pursuit cars in different places along the dual carriageway, 120 on a curve, and 140mph up a steep hill, a police pursuit by two fast Rovers for eighteen miles and a road block in Lifton to catch me……. I didn’t know they were pursuing they were so far behind. Four minutes behind me, …I counted. Drive a fast car skilfully, with blue lights clearing the way, as hard as you can for four minutes, ands see how far you travel. That’s a LONG way behind. They were not happy bunnies! To top it all, 140mph was the fasted speed ever dealt with when it eventually came to court in Okehampton. The court was packed when my case came up, and it made the front page of the Western Morning News in two counties, Devon and Cornwall.

The bike, if you’re wondering, was a beautiful, and much loved, silver and red Kawasaki 900R.

The day My Father died was a terrible, terrible day, made all the worse by being busted in such a huge way.

So, y’see……….all sorts of stuff going on which should’ve had the depressive, opposite, effect on me, ………and yet I was flying high as a kite despite it all…….. not immediately, but very soon. Everything was all of a sudden working for me to make things happen, and to help me achieve what I was having to do.

Right down the line………. Everything I did went bang on the button, and it wasn’t as if it was an easy time either……… my sister was incapacitated with grief, everyone was supporting her, and I had to sort out my Father’s affairs completely alone, travelling to and fro from Taunton to Cornwall on all my days off for months. It was as hard as hell to do, and pretty much no one to advise me, let alone help. Clearing his big garage and workshop was a mammoth task alone, both emotionally and physically, but I was largely buoyed up by this strange positivism, and it was something I’ve never forgotten. Never forgotten, but equally I’ve never been able to replicate it again to anything like as much, or for so long a time.

I could move mountains, and I did too. :o)

Was that something to do with my Father ‘helping’ me from the afterlife?

Was it God working in my life?

Was it that I’d somehow tapped into positivity, and was reaping the rewards of a generous and benevolent Universe?

Dunno………. I kinda think the latter, but who knows? Maybe it all three????????

Anyway…….. back to the present.

“Happier Than God”, “Conversations With God”, and “The Secret” all enthuse about the laws of attraction, and a kind of cosmic ordering. What you focus on and what your heart desires, will come about. HTG and CWG teach that God is Life……. He is always with us, because he IS us. “The Secret” is more about cosmic ordering.

You need to read he books really, as I haven’t grasped it completely, nor finished the books, but I can say this………… I’ve had a week off on annual leave this week, and having started HTG this morning, and applied some of it by thanking God all day, on and off, but mostly on, I have had the best day so far. I even thanked god for the leak on the Harley cylinder head, because it will give me a chance to get out into the workshop again in order to repair it, and to feel the joy of having done so when I do. See, HTG says that things that seem to get worse, are a sigh that it’s working, because it lets you feel the upside when that eventually follows. An example he gives……… if you desired to be The Light, and there was no darkness, you wouldn’t know you were The Light, because you would be in the light anyway, so darkness would have to surround you first in order that you be aware that you had become The Light.

Gettit??? :o)))

Ok, but I did say it was ‘fantastic’, didn’t I? Cutting edge science is starting to nibble at fantastic concepts that are so far considered too whacky to even listen to. If you believe in any of the conventional religions, they are no less whacky. People are blowing themselves up. believing that seventy-two virgins are waiting to reward each and every one of them. Whacky as hell, BUT, whatever IS going on Out There is way beyond whacky. There is a concept that the whole universe as we know it is in fact a huge hologram, and nothing is any more real than a dream.

An illustration….. You dream you offer someone a cup of tea, and in the dream you give them one, and at the same time imagine to yourself that they enjoy it. So, in the dream, you actually give them the tea, and in your mind imagine them enjoying it, BUT……… it’s a dream, …………so the cup of tea is as imaginary as you imagining them enjoying it, but in the dream it was ‘real’.

So maybe everything we know is a dream, a fantasy, a hologram, whatever. Science has learned that nothing is in contact with anything else, because if you go small enough to sub-atomic level, there are huge gaps between all the particles making up anything, just as there are huge gaps between the planets………. Nothing touches anything else. Solids aren’t solid at all, they just manifest themselves as solid in our physical experience. If you touch something, you actually don’t tough it…….. not really, because if you could see to a fine enough degree, you would see a gap there. It’s all a matter of scale. We are trying to discover things way beyond our physical capability to prove, but is only the half of it is right, it is pretty fantastic……… all of it.

So, I do believe, and have done for a while now, that what we think, HOW we think, determines out lives completely. The trick is, is to manage your mind to the degree that you can turn things around from a negative perspective to a positive one. For some people it’s easy……….. they do that naturally, and I’ll bet my bottom dollar they are the ‘winners’ in life……… I as much that they are generally ‘happy’.

Me, I’m gonna turn this ship around if it kills me. I’ve been trying for a long time, but………. (No, Eddie says I mustn’t say ‘but’………. not in connection to negativity…….. I must say however)………… HOWEVER, it’s gonna change! :o)

If you’re having a shit time of things………. Read HTG, and CWG, with an open mind, a very open mind, and you don’t have to go to church every Sunday to make it work either if you’re not a religious person. If you are religious, I don’t think it will necessarily clash with what you already believe. I think it will reinforce what you believe.

It’s a win-win, yes? :o))))))

One last thing………… don’t for one second think I’m preaching here, or trying to sound like I have the answers. Couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m just reading some books, and some things are making a bit of sense, and I’m passing it on in the hope it might help someone else, that’s all.

And some things are changing my mood, so that has to be a good thing, and some proof that some techniques do work. Try saying ‘thank-you’ all day to ‘God’ whether you believe ‘he’ exists of not. Give thanks for even the bad stuff…..use your imagination as to how to do that, and see if it doesn’t brighten your day at least a little bit. I laughed to myself when I thought up a way of being thankful for the Harley cylinder-head oil leak.

Beat THAT for a turn around!!!!! :o))))))))))))))

And you know what? I dragged the old girl out, and had a good look at it, and it wasn’t as bad a leak as I thought. It leaks when you park it leaning over on the stand………. The oil ‘pools’ in the rear corner of the head, and drips through the gasket until it levels out. When you’re upright and riding it, it leaks very, very little. It still needs fixing fairly soon, and it’s still a pain to fix by the looks of it, ………….but not quite as bad as I thought.

Was that because I said “Thank-you”???

Who knows. :o)

K.xxx (x’s are for all you gurls out there!) :o)

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Foaming at the mouth, and well overdue his medication......... NURSE!!!!!

Took the Harley down to Cornwall and back to see my 85-year-old Aunty Ruth on Tuesday (17th). She is a lovely woman, and it’s always a pleasure to sit and natter with her. Bright as a button, despite having suffered ill health for a good number of years now, and getting frailer every year. She is someone who really listens to you, loves everyone around her, and is always genuinely concerned about us all. I love her to bits, and she’s always my first port of call before seeing my cousin, and good friend John (her son) and his family. I left late at mid-day, and returned home by 7.45pm, without calling in on John, which is a first. Not feeling my brightest by a long way again, and just didn’t fancy hustling the Tractor (Harley) back along the ‘B’ roads late and in the cold. Being pissed-off kinda makes you feel like that.

God is that thing ever slow, and real hard work to push along at anything like a half decent pace. It has a charm, pretty much purely around it’s torquey, old fashioned long stroke engine, and is ideal for a leisurely cruise around the ‘B’ roads at between fifty and seventy, but anything more than that and it’s stressed and flustered. If you want to go a good distance in any hurry whatsoever……. forget it.

Took it for a short spin yesterday, and found it’s leaking oil from the back of the rocker-box………. A drip-drip leak. It looks to be a pain to fix too, if just tightening it down doesn’t work, which I suspect it won’t. Have to take the rocker box, complete with rockers off, and it is made of a three-part sandwich. Looks like a right lash-up of a design, but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve got the spanners out, and had a good look at it. Actually, it's not that big a deal, ............more to do with me having trouble doing anything these days which involves the least bit of effort.

It’s like new…….. just under 9,000 miles. No excuse for it really, and prolly just because it has a bit of a mild thrashing the day before. There’s a fair bit of detail that is nothing short of cheap ‘n’ nasty on this Sportster, which is inexcusable from the oldest bike manufacturer in the world, and from one who sell their bikes on ‘Hand Built Craftsmanship’.

Hand Built Craftsmanship, my ass!


Now THIS is hand built! .....................Purty aint it? :o))))
....... And only God could've hand built her. (Thankyou God, etc, etc.......)


These things rust like anchors if you show them rain, and I know……… I’ve had two of them. The design is archaic, and the accuracy of manufacture, if the swinging arm is anything to go by, is poor………. When you do up the back wheel spindle, you pinch the swinging arm tube. I wouldn't expect that on a Chinese made moped. The handling is a joke, and the performance, for 1200cc is truly laughable, although I grant you that cruisers aren't meant to be thrown around.......... HOWEVER Harley do market this bike on it's handling and 'sportiness'.
Having no centre stand is always a real pain in the ass, and so the back wheel a pain to get out, which is way more awkward to get out than it ever should be anyway. This isn’t a sports bike, and so there’s no excuse not to fit a centre stand, or make the wheel such a pain to get out. It's pure penny-pinching, and sure wouldn't fill me with confidence that moving up to a Big twin would be a good thing. The clearance between the rear belt drive (Instead of a chain, which is a good idea) is way too small too to make allowance for variations between tyre manufacturers sizing. I fitted a pair of Continentals, and the back tyre is just being scuffed by the drive belt.

So why have I bought another one, having found all this with the last, back in 1990 or so? Well, that’s kinda hard to explain.
It’s a bit to do with trying to slow myself down………. Hoover (My 1200S Suzuki Bandit) is like a real bad gurl, who leads you to do things you really didn’t ought to be doing.
It’s a bit that appeals to the old fashioned greaser in me, who cut his teeth on old-fashioned British bikes, and this is an old fashioned bike.
It’s the bit in me that’s still strangely naive and optimistic, in that I can’t help thinking that maybe this time it’ll be different.
And it’s the bit in me that gets taken in by the Harley Mystique, even though I know full well it’s 75% U.S. Prime, Hand Scooped And Fed, Bullshit. Even now I wonder if a Big Twin would be any better…….. surely it would etc etc…….. :o)

Harleys make two types of basic bike…… the lighter, “smaller” Sportsters, and the bigger Big Twins…….. Sportsters aren’t considered to be ‘real’ Harleys by the ‘elite’. They are, of course, and a better engine in many ways, but it’s all a part of the Harley Bullshit. Sportsters are marked down as kinda ‘loss leaders’ to get you hooked on the Harley Thing, and then you sell your soul to be a ‘Real’ Harley Man and buy a Big Twin, which are extortionate prices……… up to over £20,000 a time. That’s a whole lotta money for something that’s not even really well made, not to a level that the price would lead you to expect.
Still, once Harley have hooked you with the Sporty, you have to sell your soul for a big Twin to really be with the 'in' crowd you now want to emulate. A real neat bit of marketing.

(It’s a Man Thang, hunny!) :o)

Yup, it’s real easy to be dragged into it all,…….. like I said, I’ve been around the block way more times than is ever good for a chap, but even I get drawn into buying another one, after swearing “Never Again!”

Strains of Born To Be Wild kinda echo through the barking exhaust note, as you feed her a big handful of beef outta the corner, and point the tiny Sportster headlight down a long straight.

Booooorn to be wiiiiild……………………………. Get outta my fuckin’ way! (Because, like, I don’t have enough steam to overtake ya, man!) :o)

Now, should there be any good ol’ Harley boys out there sharpening their knives, let me just add a bit more insult to injury to help you get up a head of steam. ( :o)…… for God’s sake lighten up chaps! )

There are two distinct types of Harley rider. There’s the Real Thing, and there’s The Rest. Of The Rest, a whole lot (But not all) are wannabes of the highest order. Most emulate the Real Thing. They have pulled out the fat wallets of the Forty-something’s, and have bought the Real Thing’s genuinely bad-ass reputation……….. largely that of the genuine back-patch bike clubs. (Hells Angels, Reapers, Satan’s slaves, Chopper club etc.) They emulate the back-patch dress code, lifestyle, and look real mean ‘n’ moody, and yes, some do look the part…… big and beefy, but that’s not quite the same thing as hard.

Hard is when you fall, break bones, nearly lose your life, but still climb back on a bike as soon as you can. Sometimes several times, if there's enough of you left working to still be able to ride somehow.
(NABD, (National Association for Bikers with a Disability) is a great organisation to get disbled bikers back on the road, and anyone can join)
Hard is when you work on the bloody things all night outside in the freezing cold, because you had no garage when you started out, and spend your last quid to keep it on the road.
Hard is when you ride in all weathers, day or night, for more years than you can remember.
Hard is going against the flow of the general scheme of things, and keep right on loving mo'sickles way beyond your youth, no matter what anyone says.
Hard is doing the time, and the pain.

Hard is definitely not just getting your wallet out because you fancy the lifestyle and image. I saw a t-shirt slogan the other day, which sums it up nicely, ..........
"Spending twenty-five grand, and riding twenty-five yards, does not make you a Biker"
How true. :o)

No matter what you might think of The Real Thing, these bikers and their ilk are genuinely tough, love bikes, have been around them all their lives, ...........and most importantly, ............can ride them. I can ride better than most (Note:- I didn’t say better than anybody), and I’ve caught and passed very nimble sports bikes on the Harley, on twisty ‘B’ roads where it's skill and not performance that shows up the difference. Believe me, that should be impossible to do on a Harley, ................and yes, they certainly were trying to get away from me.
You can kinda tell. :o)

The wannabes swagger around in similar attire, to the Real Thing, albeit pretty much brand spanking new, and over the top sometimes, and certainly revel in the Bad Boy image. The time served riders amongst them are pretty much obvious, but they seem to be in a relative minority from those I’ve seen. Talking the talk is easy these days, but walking the walk is another thing altogether. Harley Davidson themselves promote the whole lifestyle thing to go with their bikes……… they sell everything from Harley cute ‘n’ dinky little ornaments that wifey will approve of, to…….. hell,……… I dunno……… I’ll bet you can even get Genuine Harley Davidson Soap-On-A-Rope, to save losing it………. y’know, ………..for when you slip in the shower, boys, …………as you do. :o)

Harley delicately market the Hard Man, Hard Riding, Prime U.S. Male Bad Boy image, but at the same time distance themselves from those who really are tough and hard riding. Those who built that image they make millions by selling.

An example………I know a bloke here in Taunton……. Old School Biker……… Hard as bleddy nails, BSA tattooed on his earlobes and who’s been riding since he could walk. I used to see him a lot on the way to work, and used to call in and have a good old natter. Mad as a coot, and rode a road going CBR kneeler. That’s a pure racing sidecar outfit registered for the road…….. you need balls to ride that on the road! About two foot high……. Bit like a three-wheeled skateboard, with a big engine. Anyway, he ran out of fuel near a certain Harley Davidson main dealer, and pushed the kneeler along with his foot, as is the practice with these things, into their forecourt to get a few pints of fuel to get to a garage down the road.

Would they help the guy, a real dirt-under-the-fingernails biker?

Nope, they wouldn’t.

Said they didn’t have any juice.

Bollocks they didn’t.

He was just too rough looking, and they weren’t going to make any money out of him. (Although he wasn’t asking for the fuel for free)

NO dealer, big or small would’ve turned him away like that at one time. See what I mean?

Harley do seminars for industry on marketing, and so they should. What they pull off is nothing short of miraculous, it really is. Even I’ve gotten pulled into the “Things are different on a Harley” thing, and it’s true, things are different…… it’s an old fashioned bike, but that’s no excuse for not making it as good as it should be. As good as you portray it too. That’s dishonest in my book.

Do you want to know what the other neat trick is? You will find it real hard, and I mean really, really hard, to find anyone who rides, and certainly sells them, to tell you one single thing that isn’t good about these bikes. Nothings perfect, but evidently Harleys are (Sir). And when someone like me does point out what's not so good, well, blimey! It's as if I rub shit on the bald head of their fathers. :o) Unbelievable really.

Now, it’s not all bad. A Harley is the only old fashioned bike still made in any real volume, and that certainly is their charm. It's the reason I blow hot and cold over the bleddy thing on almost a daily basis. It's an antedote to the blandness of super-eficient modern bikes, and you prolly wouldn't understand that if you'd never ridden anything else but the modern bikes.
I had two Norton Commandoes back when i was young; a red 750 Fastback and later a 850 Interstate. To this day I've only got to see one, and I'm in an embarrasingy nostalgic state. I was always working on them, because i thrashed them two up all the time, and the only way to keep them reliable was to keep right on top of the maintainance. I know if I had another I'd soon be cussing it, but sometimes you can't help, nor explain what you love.
So I can understand those who swear a harley is the finest of motorcycles, and wouldn't be seen dead on anything else, but don't really understand why they have to be declared faultless. Nothing is........ not even me! :o)
Despite all the rambling on here, I have to say that when I open the garage door the sight of my little burgundy Sportster waiting there, lazily canted over on her stand, always makes me smile. I guess that's a pretty significant thing. The right weather, the right road, and the right Chick on he back, in no hurry, and you can have a real nice day. I've done it, and it's real nice; takes some beating as a pleasurable experiance on a good day too, but there certainly is a lot of bullshit sold with these bikes, and a lot of bullshitters riding them too, ........and if there's one thing I HATE, it's bullshit.
The HOG (Harley Owners Group), for example, is a big social thing, promoted and supported by HD themselves……… and that’s no bad thing………. but it seems to me that they do style themselves heavily on the Outlaw Back-Patch clubs, and a whole lotta swaggering goes on. Ok, I know full well that here are a lot of genuinely time-served bikers in HOG, and anyone who's put the years in has my respect, whatever they ride, BUT there are some real bullshitters in there too.
It's not really that I've got a beef with anyone taking up biking at whatever age......... it's the way some think they're the Dogs Bollocks in ten minutes.......... THAT'S what does it!
The dealerships support HOG, and pump them up no end, and they sure spend their money with them too....... all to look the part, and buy the lifestyle. It's real slick marketing. There are some things in life you should have to earn, and not be able to just buy into, and biking is one of them. It’s that which gets up my nose……… it’s the fake, (and not so fake too) male-ego bullshit that does it for me.
Exactly the same as all the sports bike riders who dress up like G.P. riders, and can’t ride the damn things they buy. Don't they realise they're not fooling those who know their stuff?
I guess it all boils down to me not changing enough to keep pace with the was our society is going as the years go by. Maybe it's me that's got it all wrong?

One thing is for sure-certain though......... quite apart from anything else, it's not getting any easier to survive on the roads. You need to have a well developed sixth sense, be experienced to be able to do exactly the right thing in a split second......... actually, do several things exactly right ,to get out of trouble that will most definitely hit you sooner or later, and repeatedly so too.
You need to learn fast, and to do that you need start this thing young. No question about it.

I hate the way biking has changed. There was a time when you had to be the Real Thing to ride a big bike, and especially to be any age worth the name and still doing it, because few took it up in their (comparatively) old age; those over forty had worked their way up over many years. Being an Old Biker was a kinda badge of office in itself, because you couldn’t get there without putting the time in. A respect went with it. If you were full of shit, you stood out like a sore thumb.

The weenies and bean counters have changed it all, and our government in this country have played a big part too, in cutting off the traditional life-blood of motorcycling with endless legislation designed to make it a shard as it can be to stick with biking if you’re young. The constant renewal of our numbers by youngsters is gone. It’s an Old man’s game now.

Sanitised.

Respectable.

Relatively tasteless too.

A lot of biking has the same flavour as all the Bullshit and PC that prevails all around us these days. Bland and with no spirit. There’s no refuge from it any more.

Don't even get me started on how sanitised and 'family friendly' a lot of bike shows are these days. More arrive in cars than on bikes, and you get CAR!!! demonstrations, stunts etc. It's enough to make you throw up, it really is.

It’s all bollocks, ……….and I bleddy hate it!

Bollocks is everywhere! (And, yes, I know that should be ‘are everywhere’!)
(Ooooh......... he's getting steam up! He needs a cold rub-down with a bit of hessian, he does, the poor dear) :oI

Still, there’s no changing any of it, and me being an Angry Young Man won’t do it either. (sigh), so, if you’re reading this, and have got mad at what I’ve said……… , then just read it again and get what I mean here, ok? If you're still all bristling and fierce, then, good, because it was aimed at a bullshitting limp prick like you! (And we all know a limp prick’s no use to anyone, don’t we?)

Some will be confused. You're the prolly the ones who haven't ever ridden on a Big Tool, and will die wondering. That's gonna be a real shame. :o)

The rest of you still standing will get what I mean. :o)

Last thought, after pondering a photo of her................
I say all that mean stuff about her, then I take a good long look at her and how she somehow represents the way things used to be, and I think to myself............ awwwww, she aint so bad really, ........... and, besides, it is bleddy good fun going after the Sports bikes on her.
I gotta give it to her, ............she sure gives it her best shot, and I can't fault her enthusiasm.
She frightens the shit outa them, (me too sometimes!!) .............. and that's gotta be a good thing :o)

K. :o)

Monday, 16 March 2009

Serving time......... and learning to walk first

Sunday, and the sun is shining. The day stretches before me, and what will I do with it? Something good…….. something useful, or will I ‘waste’ it like I seem to do so many these days. I dunno. Maybe I’ll take the Harley for a gallop. (I use the word ‘gallop’ very loosely……… in much the same way you would with a tractor.) :o)

Too nice a day not to I guess, but the trouble is I just don’t have the inspiration to point it anywhere in particular these days. A woman would help, one who likes to ride pillion on these machines. I’ve known four who loved it……….. two for years, and two for a shorter time, but it made all the difference. Doing things on your own all the time sure leaves the paint of life looking faded and dull.

Still no sign of Lomax. I dreamt he came back last night. I was in the lounge (in the dream), and he came out of one of the polythene shopping bags he used to play with as a kitten, and that still lie on the floor. He was thin, bedraggled, could hardly stand, and was beside himself to see me. It felt so good to have him rubbing up against me, butting heads, feel his warm little body on my chest, and hear his purr. I knew it was a dream as I was dreaming it, and tried to keep with it, but woke before I wanted to. I woke up pretty upset

God, I miss that little chap. He was quite something, and really got under my skin. I guess it’s the result of living alone, having very, very few friends to do things with, and especially no woman.

One minute women were no problem, the next it’s all over, and I’m reduced to loving a little pussy cat. How’d that ever happen without me noticing the shift?

Some hard biker, eh?

Some Sad Old Greaser, more like.

One thing’s for sure-certain……….. no woman’s going to want to rub up against me, unless I get my Shit Together a good bit better than this. Mind you, at fifty-four-and-a-bleddy-half they don’t want to know, Shit Together or not. It’s real hard to get my head around the fact that the party’s over. Sooner I do that, the better, but I guess it takes a while to make the transitions through the stages of your life. Hell, I never made the jump to ‘adult’, let alone ‘old’. Maybe that’s the whole problem. The friends my age all seem to be just fine with gracefully accepting the counsel of the years, ………..but not me, ……….oh no, ……….I gotta do it the hard way.

Always have, and always will. (Sigh)

I took the Harley into town to feed my magazine habit, and then followed a couple of newby bikers on sports bikes out of town. God it’s frightening to see them trying to run before they can walk, it really is. Even more so, because there are soooooo many of them. For pity’s sake, pass your test, and don’t buy something that’s always going to be trying to get away from you. Get a modestly performing bike, and when you can throw that about and are bored with it’s limitations, then get something a bit hotter, and work your way up. That way you won’t always be way ’behind’ a bike that’s always getting away from you, and leading you into situations you can’t handle. Being afraid of what you’re riding, for more than a short time, is a real bad thing. You’ll also do it more like the rest of us did in the old days. Oh yes we did………. Most of us were young and broke, and anyway, the quickest and fastest (There is a difference!) thing you could get back then was like a bicycle compared to what is so easily available nowadays.

Why does no-one want to serve any apprenticeship in anything these days???? The trouble with bikes, running before you can walk is a killer. Worse still, wifey/ partner/ girlfriend/ whoever, so often believes all the bullshit from her big brave man, gets matching leathers and helmet, and faithfully climbs on the back. Oh dear.

Gives me a nice ass to look at whilst I’m lining up for the optimally demoralising overtaking manoeuvre though. Sometimes, though, she looks so good I’m happy to plod along behind for a good few miles. Sometimes it’s kinda restful and therapeutic to ease up for a bit. :o)

I once advised a couple I met in a big dealership looking at bikes, and just day dreaming. It was mostly wifey actually……. Hubby came along to hear the advice, way too late to steer her away from listening to the Old Greaser, and he was quietly bloody furious. I had started to chat to her, as she was wandering about on her own, and she, on the other hand, was very interested in what someone with thirty-odd years in the saddle had to say. They had big plans to take their two kids around Europe on the back of their brand new two big Triumph Tiger bikes. (Big trail bikes, but tall and ungainly, and plenty fast enough to get you into trouble at the same time) They had passed their tests together two months ago, after some sort of quick access training, and certainly hadn’t been riding long at all. It was obvious hubby had convinced her all would be well.

Yeah, right.

I said, ok, great idea, ………….but definitely not with the kids on the back. Told them they weren’t anything like good enough yet, and there was a fair to even chance they’d live to regret it. They had money, looked very confident and successful, him in particular, and boy did he hate being told he wasn’t good at something, especially from what he obviously regarded as a low-life. Why do men in particular have soooooo much trouble hearing they’re not up to something, especially when it should be bloody obvious???? Their ego has killed a whole lot of them.

I believe in starting at the bottom and working your way upwards in life. Our generation was brought up that way, so it’s no surprise that I look at life that way. Ok, I’m not saying I don’t ever try to run before I can walk, because that’s one of my faults in life……… overreaching myself. BUT, because I was brought up to respect my elders, which goes hand in hand to respecting those who know more than me, whether older or younger, I will take advice, and criticism, and try and learn from it. It’s the fastest way I know of being able to run. I also know there are no short cuts around time too, and sometimes you just have to serve the apprenticeship.

An example………….

I took up scuba diving back in about ’85 or so, did the diving course here in Taunton, and soon got the basic Sport Diver qualification. Right after qualifying as safe to dive, I was encouraged,……… pushed actually, along with Alan, another ‘newby’ diver I used to buddy up with a lot, to go straight on to taking the Dive Leader qualification. It meant you would be qualified to organise, and take responsibility for, a group of qualified divers on a dive of any sort, anywhere,……. beach, boat, wreck or whatever.

I pretty much refused at first, because as far as I was concerned, I had only about a year’s experience, and no way was I good enough for others to put, effectively, their lives in my hands. I did it in the end, but purely to snub a couple of real wankers who only had six months more experience than Alan and I following in the training group behind them. They swaggered around, and bullshitted like they were Jacques Cousteau. Worse, actually…….. I doubt he swaggered and bullshitted around a whole lot. He wouldn’t feel the need to do that, for sure-certain. They always got right up my nose.

Anyway, Alan and I both did the course, and, because I wanted to beat these two twats, for once in my life I really swotted up on it all. I passed the examination with something like 98%.

Blimey!!!!

Waaaaay better than Le Wankeurs, which was the whole point of the exercise. Alan got a slightly lower mark, but easily beat them too……… they had only just scraped through, and were both a good bit quieter afterwards when we were around. Although Alan got a lower mark, he was actually a better diver than me, if only at the very least because he was a whole lot fitter than I ever was.

The purpose of telling you this isn’t to illustrate how brilliant I am, but, by saying that I never used the qualification to lead any dives, nor ‘lorded’ it over anyone else, that I believe in being time-served, and doing the miles so to speak, before walking the walk.

You only look stoopid when you try to walk the walk too early, and you rarely fool those who can.

As my dear old daddy used to say, quite often to me when I was trying to fool him with my youthful I-Know-It-All blab……….

“You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

How true.

K.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Thought For The Day

It's hard to get the perspective on it all, and I know I keep banging on about it (Those of you who know me), but browsing the net I'm often 'grabbed' by the sheer unimaginable enormity of it all.

I'm also convinced that God is some sort of residual effect surrounding us all, rather than a central intelligence. A collective 'intelligence', an effect of ,yet undiscovered, dimensions to the universe. Perhaps something that happens to us all as a result of out individual thoughts and actions, every bit as much as water rippling when you move your hand in it.

God surely just can't be a central Man-Like intelligence, watching, judging and guiding us............ and I'm fucking sure there are no 72 virgins awaiting the screwball religious zealots, as a reward for their sacrifice to bend us to their will, either!

And if he is.............. WHERE'S MY FUCKING PUSSY-CAT???????

(You can tell I'm a good bit pissed-off as usual, can't you? :o(


Highlighted are the mind-blowing details............ link them together.
What you've got is the ultimate truth that size matters! (Sigh)

Messier 51, The Whirlpool Galaxy. The SDSS image of this famous spiral galaxy (interacting with a smaller neighbour at the lower left) occupies about three one-millionths of the total sky area imaged by the SDSS. [SDSS = Sloan Digital Sky Survey (digital imaging telescope)]The SDSS imaging survey detected about 100 million galaxies, most of them much more distant, and thus much smaller and fainter in appearance, than M51. Some of these distant galaxies can be seen as small extended sources on this image, while the sharper, point-like sources are mostly foreground stars in our own Milky Way galaxy. The diameter of M51 is roughly 75,000 light years. (Credit: The Sloan Digital Sky Survey)

So, please forgive me, but I like to spell things out to myself.............. and not just because I know some of you out there are a good bit on the 'thick' side. (No. Please. No really........ it's no trouble........... I'm just a nice helpful kinda guy.) :o)

Get your mind around it. Focus, and really screw yourself up doing it too, like wot I do.................

A galaxy, 75,000 light years across, occupying about three one-millionths of the total area surveyed, and was one of about 100 million galaxies observed.

One galaxy holds billions of stars 'Suns', and one light year equals 5,878,499,814,186.5 miles (We won't get into the leap year thing, ok???)

It really, really blows me away Man!

You too????

So, with the Enormity Of It All in mind, what is my Thought For The Day?..................

Is all the Politically Correct bollocks in life, and especially at work, really so very important?

..............I rather think not.

The trouble is, we have given power to most people around us, particularly at work, and so it feels like it is.

Do something for me........... tell at least one weenie out there to Go Fuck Themselves! Most of you will come across at least one today.

Prolly best to just smile, and say it telepathically, though, ..........because the bastards usually do have power over your destiny here on Earth.

You never know............ it might make the leap. I did it yesterday to a visiting weenie, and she kinda looked over at me 'funny' as she left the building. I hadn't interacted with her at all....... was busy and had my back to her the whole time she was there, in fact.

Yup, ..............I think it had made the leap. :o)

K. :o)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Knights on White Chargers, mostly reduced to clumping aimlessly around a kitchen……….

Browsing the blogs, I came across one entry on nurture vs. nature, and how a mother had noted her children exhibiting traditional male/female natures, despite no steering or encouragements from her or her husband. Actually despite some.

I left a comment, which, as it always does with me, ended up in a ramble which is worthy of putting in this blog………….. so I’ve pretty much copied/pasted it below, and rambled a but more here and there, ..........as you do. :o)

So here it is...............


I’m often called sexist at work, which is social services (in Britain), looking after people with learning difficulties in residential care. I work mainly with women, and joke around with them a lot, often playing the seventies sexist male at my own expense.


However, I do hold the view that, generally speaking, men and women are very different, and are naturally drawn to, and are good at, different things in life. If I take over, or offer to take over any heavy, or awkward tasks, I’m being sexist. It seems hard for a lot of women, I have to say mostly young women, to understand how difficult it is for me to stand by and watch a woman risk injury, while I stand by and watch. It’s my male instinct at work, and it used to be called chivalrous, not sexist.

I was influenced by a Father who taught me to always let a female win when push came to shove, never hurt a female, and to help and protect them no matter what. Most of my generation were taught the same principles as they grew up.

I have worked very closely with women for some 36 years now, in the caring field, after doing my general nurse training back in the early seventies at 18. In all that time, I have seen very little to change the views that my generation was brought up with, in the respect that males and females are different. That does not mean unequal.

What I have seen is the damage to our society that this corrosive drive for “equality” has done in trying to force us into roles we were never designed for. I do understand that equality was lacking in the way women were valued, and their freedoms restricted, but feel strongly that in levelling the playing field, we have long since lost our way in recognising and valuing our differences.

‘Different’ has been identified with ‘unequal’. You can be different AND equal at the same time, in as much as an averaging out of different roles, equates to equality in the long run. What was wrong was that women were not regarded as of equal value in society…….. THAT was where equality was needed.

As a man, I have witnessed the feminisation of men in the name of “Equality” in order to force us to absorb the traditional roles of women……… many of which we are inherently not suited to by nature. Natural male roles are considered unfashionable; you only have to look at the lack of masculinity in the five terrestrial television programs in this damn country to see that……… it’s all cooking programs these days, with mainly men (I use the term very loosely, and not because they cook either!) poncing about like a bunch of girls, drizzling this, and arranging that. Isambard Kingdom Brunel would spin in his grave!!!!

Even the appearance of men, and what is considered as characteristically male, has been feminised hugely ………… body hair is considered repulsive nowadays for instance. Speaking as one who can’t walk topless across a beach without being regarded as the missing link, that is a particular blow. It isn’t especially unusual for a young man these days to spend more time on his appearance than a woman, and yes, I have heard it all before about “why not” etc……... I’m talking about the flouncing about with all the bleddy male grooming crap that’s considered necessary to be attractive to women nowadays. It used to be good old Wright's Coal Tar soap, water, and aftershave. Maybe a bit of deodorant at a push, but she’d have to be real pretty to be worth the risk to reputation. :o)

I’m sure-certain that this forced rush for equality has resulted in males having less of the traditional respects for women. Men are much less likely to protect women nowadays, and have not been brought up to do so because the New Equal Woman is just as capable of defending herself, thanks very much. Sorry, but you’re not. We’re still the physically stronger, and more aggressive, sex and now you have a situation where you fear men, rather than feel protected by us.

Back when I was young, there were all sorts of jokes about how a woman in distress, with a car broken down for instance, would hitch up a skirt to show a leg, and some man would pull up, puff up his chest, and fix the car for her. All just for the price of being made to feel strong and wonderful. In actual fact, that scenario was pretty much a reality, to varying degrees of skirt hitching. All a woman actually had to do was stand by a car with it’s bonnet (hood) up, and hey, presto…….. a knight on a white charger would pull up within minutes (In Britain, anyway). No woman even comes close to risking that nowadays do they? And many men would think twice about stopping too, in case they were accused of some impropriety.




Women don’t feel safe unless they have a mobile phone to call for help, and feel very vulnerable whilst waiting for that help to arrive. Women expect to be attacked, and raped, rather than protected, and that saddens me greatly as a man who would lay his life down to protect a woman.

Sorry……….. I ramble away too much for my own good! I hope you get what I’m getting at here.

In case some are wondering, me having become a nurse and all……….. yup, my job is definitely not suited to an alpha male……… I made a bad choice years ago, and took up nursing for three reasons when I was young and in hospital recovering from a bad motorcycle accident at sixteen.
The reasons?


1) I couldn’t wait to leave home, and nursing was an all-in-one package; work, independence, and accommodation, all in one…… I’m deaf in one ear, so joining the forces was out as an option.


2) It looked a cushy little number, which it did lying there as a patient!


3) An endless supply of chicks, which to a virginal, but seminally incontinent yoof, was some pull, believe me!


God, I loved those 70's uniforms, and watching them come off......... Ahem, sorry.......... Actually, soddit, no I'm bluddy not!!!! :o)

Oh, yes, ..........I also fell head over heels in love with one of the nurses……. Anne Mathews. Went out with her for a good while too after I got out of hospital. Me a very inexperienced (As in 'none whatsoever'!) sixteen, and her a much wiser nineteen. Man, oh man, was that a sweet time.

Anyway……y’all might notice a complete absence of the vocational drive to ‘care for others’ as one of the motivational reasons for taking up Nursing, eh? Still, I guess two out of three isn’t bad, is it? (I got one wrong......... it certainly wasn’t a ‘cushy number’!!!!)

I went ahead, ignoring advice of couple of people, namely my English tutor at college, and my Uncle Jack, to instead take up a job, or career, which utilised my natural talents. Stubbornly I went ahead with Plan A, and painfully learned the skills naturally more inherent in women the hard way, and became quite a good nurse in the end. Having been on the receiving end as a patient after the bike accidents (I had another bad one at eighteen) had a lot to do with how good a nurse I ended up as.

Having slowly realised I was in the wrong job, I also made the mistake of sticking at something that didn’t naturally suit me, to my mental detriment from work-related stress as things have turned out.

I wish I knew what I know now, when I was young. (sigh)

If we really were all the same, after 36 years at the coalface I’d be as good at this job as a woman,………….. but I’m not. The memory is shot to pieces, partly from the head injuries all those years ago, but mostly from the stress damage, ...........but you d'you know what it's all just as much about?

I'm doing a woman's job, and I don’t have a woman’s brain.

It's that simple.

I GOT THIS REPLY ON THE BLOG I LEFT THE COMMENT ON........AND REPLIED AGAIN..........

K, thank you for sharing your experiences. Made for fascinating reading. I'm glad you said that different is not unequal and that there was/is inequality in the way women's work is valued. If the societal movement in the last couple of decades has gone on to show that women's work whether at home or outside is invaluable to their families and to society in general, then it has been worth it, in my opinion. There's no better way to understand a person than being in their shoes. In my own life I do recognize that I'm good at certain things while my husband is good at others - they are purely on a personal level, not gender based. As long as we are able to recognize what a person is good at and encourage that person along those lines, particularly children, then that's ideal. Doesn't matter if it falls along the lines of traditional gender roles.

No, it doesn’t matter one zit’s squirt if the suitability of roles is matched to gender. However, it DOES matter if you’re criticised for not being good at certain roles when you're only crime is that you're simply typical of your gender.

THAT'S the nub of it, and where the whole drive for equality has gone horribly wrong. Being in the ‘wrong job’ all my life, I've been hammered for that by the women I’ve worked with for 36 years, so feel it acutely. Ok, I fully accept that it's my fault for being a square peg in a round hole, but the women who have bullied me mercilessly, and some have believe me, would have got a whole lot more from me with a little more insight as to what makes a man tick. I'd say that's true of most marriages too........... a failure to realise those differences, and for both parties to make the allowances based on that understanding. Men are prolly actually worse than women at that. In saying that, as regards work, I've worked with a lot of women who have been very understanding, and have been supportive in that they’ve done, or helped me with, the tasks I’m weak at, and I’ve reciprocated by doing that which they’re not so hot on. When you do that it all works soooooo much better.

(I just KNOW I’m heading for trouble in talking about this!!! I’m particularly skilled at digging myself a hole, and resolutely continuing to dig as the sky disappears above me)

Ok, shovel in hand………. As always, let's dig just a little bit deeper, eh?

Cooking comes to mind. We cook a lot of the meals for the residents we care for, and if you ever want to see a Man In Distress, stick me in a kitchen to cook a meal.

Then make it nine meals.

Then make most of them different in several ways.

Then make me do it quickly.

THEN expect it all ready at the same appointed time, and at the same approximate temperature.

Then watch it go bang, crash, wallop, with much Bugger, Shit, Damn! :o)

I’ve been watching a lot of this Cooking Thing at work, was married for ten years, and have been in three long term relationships since, and so have seen the gist of it many many times.

But.

I.

Just.

Can’t.

Do.

It!!!!!!!

It’s the Multitasking Thing you girls do soooooo well.

It’s like the Domestic Duties Thing…….. we just don’t have the Nesting Instinct to be fascinated by it all………. And yes, most of you girls are fascinated by it all. I have several Wild Free and Single male friends, and not ONE chooses to fuss over the nest. Not ONE. And all the married male friends do it under duress.

Not one female friend is good at fixing things, particularly their cars……… one or two do DIY at home, but none are really very good at it. (...........Actually, one is VERY good at it!!!!) A couple are brilliant at painting and decorating though.

Men were originally designed to kill, defend, protect. We focus on one thing at a time very well. we are inherently aggressive when provoked. We have highly developed spacial senses.

The trouble is most of that is redundant these days.

It's why we are being outdone by women who have all the other natural skills that are more necessary in this modern world, but if y'all aren't careful, you'll wind up being men with vagina's, and then it really will be a big mess.

Don't say you weren't warned! :o)


I’m lost track of what I’m trying to say here, but I guess it’s a personal resentment at us men being generally slaughtered in society for being masculine. I see the soul of this once great industrial nation frittered away to nothing by the weenies that rule us, and am driven nuts by the pastel-shaded, political correct nature of out politicians, and everything in the media, especially television.


There are plenty of exceptions to the rule, I know, and believe me, you won't find anyone cheering louder at a woman beating a man at his own game. I won't get started on what i think of a lot of men........ but plenty get right up my nose, and I readily acknowledge that the male ego and aggression are the root cause of most of the world's ills.

I do think young women are at risk of losing it all by the attempts these days to emulate men's aggression, and this is no more apparent than in the way a lot of girls and women get drunk these days. I mean........ openly weeing in the street, ...........and getting into some pretty nasty street brawls???? Ask any bouncer about the subject, especially in out cities.

I always though our example was to be abhorred, not emulated. The roles are changing, and it's pretty worrying. We fast are losing our identities, and our respect for one another.

The last word……… just in case I come across a s a bitter and twisted woman-hater. It couldn’t be further from the truth. I adore women, and not for the obvious reasons either. I’m very lucky in that I’ve been loved and adored by some lovely women, and don’t know what a bitch is……. Well, actually I do, but have always avoided them like the plague. Can’t always avoid them at work though………..

Even after some thirty-six years of working with, and under the rule of, women, I am still blown away by how capable y’all are. It happens to me all the time at work. Both your brain hemispheres are joined by a far bigger bundle of nerve fibres than men have, for a start……….. I’m not sure, but it could be 70% bigger. It means you can multitask far better. My boss was talking to me, AND counting the money in loose change at he same time the other day. I couldn’t do that for love nor money!

So, (y’all out there)………. next time you’re going to discipline the poor blighter (Husband/ partner/ boyfriend/ father/ uncle/ friend/ whoever) for not noticing the kids poking the cat in the eye when he’s trying to heat the beans, cut the chap some slack.

He prolly really IS doing his best. :o)

K. :o)

Sunday, 8 March 2009

A week...............

…………..without Lomax. It feels like longer. Still no sign of him.

Busy shift at work yesterday………. after a hectic bang, crash, wallop start, by being rung by the (very nice) Boss, because I was meant to be in on and early shift, and I was still in bed reading, thinking I was on a late shift. I HATE it when that happens!

The girls dragged me out last night for a staff get-together in The Perkin Warbeck, a big chain pub in town. God, did I feel my physical age, accentuated by a mental age that has stood still. Chicks everywhere, many wearing next to bugger-all, and knowing I’m just an old guy trying not to look.

Anna, one of the youngsters I work with, young, slim, small, gorgeous and born to be on a mo’sickle if anyone ever was, dragged me up for a dance, and so I got up with her before I gave myself time to say ‘no’.

Boy, she lit me up like a sparkler, and it was great, unexpected, and good fun to be up there with her. A lithe body, and sparkling eyes, knocking the years off there for a while. It really fired me up, which meant I enjoyed the rest of the evening. Lovely girl, and it sure was nice of her to bother with an old guy.

I fucking HATE being this age, ………..and with looks that have gone, just to make it worse.

Sun’s out, and Trevor emailed to say he’s got The Seven moving under it’s own power……….. a Locost kit-car he’s building in a tiny ‘standard’ sized garage from the ground up, chassis and all. He’s been waiting for a prop-shaft to be shortened, so it can move under it’s own power……… the missing link ‘tween gearbox and back axle. Hopefully he’ll get it on the road in the Spring……… Summer at the latest.

Going around there for a gander later this morning before work. I must get my finger out, and get mine rebuilt………… the Marlin and the Lomax.

Seems strange to call the car ‘Lomax’, after it having been the name of my little buddy for the last five months.

I hope you’re ok, wherever you are little man.

K.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Lost Lomax Posters ready……………

Spent a while this morning before going to work on a late shift, composing an A4 sized Lost Lomax poster to get printed at Staples office suppliers near me. Also printed out about forty A5 ‘flyers’ on my almost-out-of-ink laser printer, but without a photo of Lomax, to push through letterboxes tomorrow on my day off.

The photo in the big A4 posters were better than I thought when they printed them, and pretty cheap really (About .35p each or so), so I had fifteen printed, and will get more done if I need them. Came home again, plastic-laminated them, and punched holes for ties. They look good. I’ll get out tomorrow, and fix them to lampposts etc, and hope they survive long enough to be effective in spreading the word.

I had the dreaded look along the stream, and down by the grill across it, and was relieved not to find him there, so that was a real good omen.

I put one of the A4 posters in the local shop near(ish) me, and went into the big school opposite and spoke to the headmaster, or someone pretty senior, who he said he’d gladly put the poster up, ...........and announce it at assembly!!!! I was blown away by that, and thought that was real good of him. Kids get everywhere, and that’s a lot of eyes about the place, eh? Just hope I don’t get a lot of hoax phone calls.

I saw several rabbits out and about this morning, and they weren’t too skittish, so maybe Lomax will be savvy enough to kill one for some grub. Not sure that he’s big enough, or fierce enough to do that yet. Hopefully hunger will activate his ancestors instincts.

I’ve managed to lose Lomax’s whistle since returning home this morning……….. put it somewhere, and am buggered if I can find it. Soddit! Maybe it’ll turn up tomorrow, or I’ll have to get another.

Five days he’s been gone now. This place is soooooooo empty without him.

It’s going to be a busy walking day tomorrow putting the posters up, and the flyers through letterboxes.

Lets hope it works.
K.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Still no Lomax...........

So tired last night that I slept right through until 07:30. Whistled and called for Lomax, and checked the log store etc. but still no sign. I have this gut feeling he’s dead, but at the same time hope he’ll be there each time I open the door and call him. I really should go down the stream to where it goes under the road, and is blocked by a set of bars across it, because the suspicion that he fell in there and drowned is nagging at me. The stream is small, but has steep sides, and is a long way down below the land surrounding it. I dread finding him in there though, and that it will be my last vision of him.

He may well be fine………. who knows, he may have picked some new people to move in with. I put loyalties in him that prolly don’t exist.

Back to sodding work today, after twelve days off on annual leave. As usual, I dread it. What a stoopid move I mad all those years ago to become a nurse, and then stuck at it, and then slid over to learning difficulties. A thankless, hen-pecked, weenie-led grind, if ever there was one.

Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid!

Lets see if I can get off the Lomax Subject, and ramble away at something else instead.

I read an awful lot, and this place is stuffed to the gunnels with books and my ‘hobby’ magazines……….. mostly mo’sickles, photography, astronomy and general science/tech stuff. I keep a book in which I copy various quotes and inspirations which catch my eye, and once in a while I browse through it. Most of them kick off a procession of thoughts as I ponder on them. Maybe I’ll start to put one a day into the blog, and maybe ramble on it.

Lets have a look here for a minute…………………

Ok………. Here’s the first one in the book.

Success
To laugh often and much.
To win the respect of intelligent people, and the affection of children.
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends.
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others.
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition.
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
---Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I wrote that down, I realised that I could say “Yup” to them all, except I haven’t sired any child (Waddya mean “Thank God!”).

(Would bringing up a little pussy cat count?…. Sorry, but he’s there every second.)

Maybe find it hard to define the redeeming of a social condition……… redeem to mean restore? A friendship as in lieu of a social condition? That could be not only a friendship of your own, but between others….. Ok, done that too. Both definitions.

Looking at it, surely it pretty much covers all bases? I mean, the ‘garden patch’ bit sure helped me breathe a sigh of relief, after realising I’ve wasted so many valiantly hopeful sperm blasted against many a welcoming womb……… at least before getting my tubes tied off that is. Then I was just pretending. :o) Paintballs, as opposed to belt-fed armour-piercing rounds.

Sorry, I digress.

Lomax intrudes everywhere.

Stalls this ramble in it’s stride.

Damn computer keeps highlighting my apostrophe use…………. Must check it out, and refresh on it. The ‘stride’ is belonging to the ‘ramble’, so surely the apostrophe is ok?????

Who gives a shit?

Life’s too damn short to worry about it, eh? :oI

If ever you want proof that I have a pretty direct brain to mouth/keyboard link, with the censure off riding around on a Bantam somewhere, and that I don’t edit a lot out, there it is. (And a Bantam is a dinky little BSA mo’sickle, ……….not a damn chicken ok?!)

I mean, who’d ever put that in a blog, unless they were pretty much knocking it straight out?

(Meeeeeow)

I should write more………. It sure helps you feel a bit better, and I know it more than most, but still don’t use it when I really need to. Why is it so hard to do what helps you in this life, and yet so easy to do what hurts you? Not for the first time have I wondered that, and maybe you have too.

I woke up this morning feeling like shit, and guilty that I’d slept right through, and not been up at the door several times calling for Lomax. I saw him everywhere, as I have done since realising he was in trouble, and thought of writing to this blog, or even just writing to get it out, to release the pressure of thoughts belting around, to let it feel better, as I knew it would. Somehow, stopping me is a 'wall' you cannot see, that blocked reaching for a keyboard or a pen.

It happens a lot to me, and it’s a kind of mental paralysis that is real hard to explain to the well-balanced, or better-balanced, amongst y’all. In case y’all haven’t guessed it, I suffer from depression……… I call it mild depression, because I haven’t thrown myself from a height only to be saved from impacting by means and method of a rope around the neck. Nor have I attempted any other imaginative means to end it all, the favourite of which for a long time has involved a powerful motorcycle, a terminal speed of around 150mph, and an immovable object just ahead. I’ve nearly died from two mo’sickle accidents, and I know it doesn’t hurt. It only hurts when you wake up again

I hope, if the worst has happened, that it was as quick for Lomax.

Stop. Don't imagine it.

Back to the rambling.

Where was I? Depression. Yup, if it gets a hold of you, it really fucks your life up. Skies aren’t a blue, nothing’s worth the bloody effort, and it’s all just too much trouble. Mine is plenty bad enough, so God knows what the curl-up-in-a-ball-for-days/weeks type is like……… or the type when you do actually attempt to flick the switch off, successfully, or unsuccessfully. In my mind, either is just as bad.

When I was nursing, we used to get ‘attempted' suicides, the inference being that the intention wasn't serious, and yes, quite often they were no more than that……… attempted. The standard approach was to not be particularly sympathetic……… not nasty, but just to politely deal with these people, but usually with a shade less friendliness than other patients coming in. there was the feeling that they were wasting time and resources that others were more deserving of.

Well, with hand on heart, I can honestly say I broke the rules………. Very subtly and quietly, because if I did otherwise trained staff would have 'counselled' me as to the correct approach. It wasn’t considered helpful to give attention seekers attention, and so reinforce their behaviour. Ok, there is logic in that, and it is sometimes the case, but I can remember, even as a young eighteen year old, believing that it was wrong to be so unfeeling. I always thought that to even half-heartedly attempt suicide, must have been an awful state of mind to be in, and they were worthy of my sympathy every bit as much as the other patients in there. I’d give a hand a squeeze, a wink, a smile, go over to make them more comfortable, and have a talk……… remind them that their tea was going cold......... whatever it was, it was at least some small comfort.

I was never depressed like I am these days, but actually was I think, to some degree, for short periods without recognising it for what it was. I’ve been diagnosed as having some degree of reactive depression….. yup……… something happens, and I react to it by getting depressed. The trouble for a long time has been there have been continual triggers, and so a continuing, underlying, depression. Living alone sure makes it worse.

Conflictingly, I do have an excellent sense of humour though…….. some would say too ‘excellent’. A psychiatrist once said it was unusual to find such a surviving sense of humour in someone who was chronically depressed. I’m sure it makes me look less than genuinely depressed, but I’m a ‘performer’ and love to make people laugh. I’ve been doing that my whole life, from as young as I can remember, and it’s a habit that is such a part of ‘me’ that it survives, and covers what’s really simmering underneath these days.

I do perk up when I’m having fun, with good company, and out on the bikes………… but, there’s little of all that surrounding me with any regularity right now, and that 'block', that invisible 'wall', that invisible restraint on my initiative, that swirling fog of cerebral paralysis, stops me from actively surrounding myself, and busying myself, with those very antidotes to the Black Dog

Like I was saying back there somewhere……….. why do we often avoid the stuff that’s good for us, and remain loyal to that which isn’t.

Beats me.

Ok, I gotta go see if Lomax is at the door, in the garden, or in the log store. The sun’s out, and he loved being out in the sun.

The photos in the blog of him in the sun were all taken a couple of Saturday’s ago, when we had a real nice day………. The first sign that spring is near, and I was out in the garden with him for most of the day.

He used to be in his Best Heaven, when the sun was out, and I was outside there with him. he'd scamper around me, as if showing off, and I guess that's just what he was doing. he used to make me laugh. It was a lovely, lovely day, and it made me look forward to the Spring and Summer when I imagined us sitting out there together, me reading in the shade, and him there on my knee, or beside me basking in the sun.

At least we did it the once, I guess.

It sure was a lovely day.

K.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Still no sign of Lomax...........

Still no sign of Lomax.

I got up three times through the night to call Lomax at the back door, after going to bed at 1.45am. Checked the ‘junk store’, and the log store, each time in case he was in there and too tired, or injured, to be able to come to the back door.

I took the Harley out and after I’d got a birthday card for my niece, Olivia, I drove around all the roads around here, and the posh estate behind me, looking for him. It was raining and I got soaked, so I turned on the heating, and lit the fire, and once again felt guilty. It was pouring outside, and all I can see in my mind is him somewhere out there, feeling alone, hungry, scared and wretched. I missed him watching me as I prepared to light it. He was always so fascinated, and would look up at me, back to the fireplace, and up to me again, as if to say “This is really great, innit?”

And y’know, it was great. For someone so small, and not human either, he filled a room. If he wasn’t somehow interacting with me, he was watching. Sometimes he was sound asleep, but if you got out of the chair, at least one eye would crack open at least a few thou’ just to check out what was happening.

I used to love to watch him sleeping, his little body rising and falling with each breath, and loved how perfect he was, how young, how completely undamaged by life. Just so handsome and perfect. I loved making his day as good as it could be.

I miss him so much.

God, I hope he’s at least somewhere dry tonight.

Everything I do here, however small, had some involvement with him, or he influenced how I did it one way or another, even if only checking he wasn’t under my feet. In most things I do I’m constantly reminded he’s not here.

I’ve just had some ham and tomatoes, stood at the cutting board…….. my staple diet. He loooooved the cheap sliced Lidl’s ham. No matter how sneaky and quiet I was, and even if he was stuck into his grub around the corner, he’d know I was at it, and would pester me ceaselessly for some. He was a ham junkie. I looked down as I was eating it, and there was no Lomax stood on his hind legs, his lithe body stretched to full length, and no little face beseeching me for a morsel.

I can’t believe this hurts so much, I really can’t.

Be safe, wherever you are, and find your way home old son.

I miss you.

K.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Lomax is gone.............

I last saw him on Saturday 28th (Feb), at about 4.00pm, as Chris was leaving after calling in for a natter.

He’d been in and out for most of the day as usual, with me going out every now and then to check he hadn’t wandered off too far, calling him with the whistle if he didn’t come to his name. I looked, and whistled for him at about 5.30, but he wasn't to be found. That would happen once in a while if he was having a really Great Adventure somewhere, but he always would come back within range, and answer the call, within another couple of hours.

It got dark, and still no sign of him. I kept calling him regularly until going to bed, worriedly cussing him for staying out so late, and keeping me up. I got up all through the night, and must’ve called him every one-and-a-half-hours at least. i didn't get a lot of sleep, because it was real hard to sleep without him snuggled up on his fleece beside me, as he has for five months after his first, one and only, lonely night in the kitchen.


I wish now, that I’d got dressed and gone to look for him with the whistle, but I was so sure he’d be back by morning.

I knocked on the doors of all the houses either side of me, about twelve I guess, to get them to check their sheds and garages. No one had seen him the previous afternoon. I walked miles on Sunday morning calling and whistling for him. I walked right to the end of the green belt, at the back of me where everyone walks their dogs, and back again, up on the grassy playground, all around the school playing fields, and then down to the canal, checking the fields in between. I asked everyone I met if they’d seen Lomax, but no one had. I took the car out and checked along the roads in the area, including the housing estate, in case he’d been run over, but nothing.

Gone.

Just like that.

I guess I’ve been too cavalier in giving him pretty much all the freedom he wanted over the last month or so. I shouldn’t have let him out after dark……. browsing the ‘net reveals that’s when most cats get lost. Obvious really. Too young at only seven months? I guess so. He trusted me to keep him safe, and I've let him down.

Five months we’ve been together now, more or less, and I’ve watched him grow from a cute little mite into a real character; full of life, ‘talkative’, affectionate, and great company. I’ve pretty much been with him four days a week all winter, and he was like a little dog. Everywhere I went, he’d follow and settle with me nearby. If I left the room, he’d soon follow. He’d bring things to me to tirelessly play ‘fetch’; mostly balls of paper that were lying around for him to play with, or his big favourite, The Rat which Suzy had made for him at Christmas. He’d talk back to me quite often too, and was a real little buddy.

I often kept grappling with whether or not I should ever have had him, and in truth I didn’t really want the tie, but at the same time absolutely loved being with him. Now he’s gone, and it hurts more than it should.

I mean, he’s only a cat, right?

I guess the worst of it is my imagination haunts me with the thought of him dead, or dying slowly somewhere, maybe lying injured. Lost and lonely, and it’s started raining now……. cold and wet somewhere, and wondering where I am. I’ve just lit the fire, and he used to love sitting next to me as I laid the fire, and lit it. He loved this fire, and I feel real guilty sat here in front of it’s heat, when he’s prolly out there somewhere starving hungry, and cold. Maybe he’s not so far away, and I’ve passed within calling distance of him. Maybe he’s heard me and called out, but I’ve just walked right by calling his name as I went.

An imagination like mine is a bloody curse quite often.

I hope someone’s already taken him in, to keep him fed and warm, and that he’ll have had the good sense to pester someone, and look helpless enough to melt their hearts. It wouldn’t take much doing, as he’s a cracking looking cat, and has a remarkable nature. He hasn’t a bad bone in his body, or one nasty thought in his head. The only thing is, he’s a bit shy of strangers, and is likely to stay hidden until he’s in a desperate state.

He's I.D.chipped, and maybe they'll take the trouble to take him to a vet to see if he's chipped, but I'm not so sure people are aware enough of the possibility.

The bottom line is, I want him to be ok, wherever he is. Even if he’s with someone else, as long as he’s ok, I can live with that.

Please God; don’t let him be hurt ……….or dead.

Of course, he could well be having a whale of a time, but I somehow doubt it. I’m trying to believe that he’ll be sat there, or come running out from the log-store, one of the times I open the door and call for him. The only good thing about it still winter, is that everyone will have their windows closed, at least at night, or I’d drive everyone nuts blowing this shrill whistle every hour or so!

I miss that little chap, and I just wish he’d walk in the door. He’d get the biggest hug.

Wherever you are, little man, I hope God is looking out for you, and has put you somewhere safe. K.:o(((((